Russia’s Saint-PetersburgStateTransportUniversity was declared the winner of a contest to find the oldest materials testing machine still in use.
Sponsored by Zwick/Roell AG, an Ulm, Germany-based leader in material and component testing equipment, the contest attracted entrants from around the world.
“We are pleased to present this award, which honors the proud history of the materials testing industry,” said Josef Leyendecker, global services manager for Zwick.
The award, presented torepresentatives of the university during the 21st testXpo at Zwick's Ulm headquarters in October, included a EU10,000 credit toward new Zwick test equipment. As an added attraction, participants' names were entered into a drawing for an Apple iPad 2.
The origins of materials testing machines can be traced back several centuries, Leyendecker said. Equipment of this type can last quite a long time if well maintained, he said.
The 100-ton power horizontal hydraulic testing machine in use by the university was built in Nurnberg, Germany in 1876 by Ludwig Werder and installed a year later in the school’s Mechanical Laboratory.
The Werdermachine was originally used to test the strength of stay cables, suspension bridge chains and guy ropes for communication towers. Upgraded to use an electric motor early in the 20th century, the machine is still used to test ropes.
Due to wear of some parts, the Werder machine cannot be used for tension testing of samples. However the machine is successfully used for the gauging of superimposed mechanical dynamometers for ropes bending control.
No longer in use but preserved with the machine is the cast iron colonnade for its beam crane. The beam crane is considered as technical creative work and is protected by the Monuments Keeping Commission.